Science and Engineering

University of Colorado, Boulder

Dan Dessau, Gang Cao, Josef Michl, Charles Musgrave, Sean Shaheen
Boulder, CO
$1,000,000
December 2018

 

Room-temperature superconductivity is a goal that could deliver powerful magnets (levitating trains), exquisitely sensitive magnetic-field sensors (MRI machines), lossless power transmission lines, quantum computing, and more.  The critical processes needed for superconductivity are (a) the formation of Cooper pairs of electrons and (b) the condensation of these pairs into the superconducting state.  Organic (carbon-based) superconductors hold great promise for obtaining room-temperature superconductivity because of the huge diversity of compounds that might enable strong Cooper pairing on individual molecules.  This field took a major leap forward this past year with the observation of the onset of Cooper pairing at 120 K – a factor of four increase in temperature from the previous record superconducting temperature for an organic material and 40% of the way to room temperature.  This result unveiled a major direction forward for achieving true high temperature superconductivity – increasing the intermolecular coupling strengths to entice the condensation of pairs existing on individual molecules.  This project brings together a team of physicists, chemists, and engineers with a diverse set of knowledge, toolsets, and ideas aimed at achieving this goal.

 

 

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